Dettori targeting Breeders Cup Turf glory with Enable

Dual Arc winner odds on to create some history at Churchill Downs

Dermot Weld's Eziyra is one of three Breeders' Cup rides for Frankie Dettori at Churchill Downs on Saturday although it is the dual-Arc heroine Enable who looks the Italian's best chance of an anniversary victory.

Dettori won his first Breeders’ Cup victory 24 years ago at the Louisville circuit when Barathea landed the Mile and prompted the jockey to first perform his flying dismount in the winners’ enclosure.

Now the 47-year-old superstar will hope to create more history at the Churchill Downs track as Enable is odds on to become the first Arc winner to double-up in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

"Records are there to be broken," Dettori said on Wednesday and pointed to Enable's curtailed season as a reason why she can succeed where Dancing Brave, Dylan Thomas and others failed.


“In favour of Enable she has only raced twice, is very fresh in herself and seems to have travelled over well. She’s shown her versatility winning around Chester and Epsom and also a King George on soft ground.

“You never can be completely certain that everything is spot on but you certainly wouldn’t suspect it [anything wrong] with this filly,” he added.

Eziyra will have to overcome being drawn widest of all for the 14-runner Filly & Mare but Dettori is hopeful Expert Eye can emulate Barathea almost quarter of a century ago in the Mile.

Good chance

“I think Expert Eye has a very good chance. He was a bit of a handful early in his career but is different now. He’s drawn seven in the middle which isn’t bad at all but in the Mile you need to get all the breaks. You need a seven furlong horse than a miler as the emphasis is on speed,” he said.

Aidan O’Brien has 13 intended starters at the Breeders’ Cup and has two reserves as well – Clemmie in the Mile and Van Beethoven in the Juvenile Turf.

After Churchill Downs his attention will switch to Australia where Yucatan is ante-post favourite to give the champion trainer a first Melbourne Cup success in the early hours of next Tuesday morning.

O’Brien will also run Rostropovich and Cliffsofmoher in “the race that stops a nation” but Yucatan appears to be the definite Ballydoyle number one.

“If we get the draw, I’d be quietly confident,” O’Brien’s representative TJ Comeford told local media in Melbourne. “We’ll definitely go close but how close I’m not sure – [but] I’d rather be on him [Yucatan] than any other horse at the moment.”

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column